On the Bench with Byron Higgin
It seems as though Minneota’s road to the Class A State Tournament always has to go through Bird Island, Olivia and Lake Lillian. That is ... the BOLD school district. The two schools, BOLD and Minneota seem to be on a collision course to destiny.
They both held their ground all season, then take undefeated records into the Section 5A finals. It seems somewhat of a shame that teams like Murray County Central and Springfield are fighting for a Section 3A crown and spot in the state when three teams in Section 5A are ranked in the state.
But I guess that’s the luck of the draw. BOLD will bring their 10-0 record and conference title into the championship game on Friday and Minneota takes its 10-0 mark and league title into this contest. Each year BOLD comes in as the odds-on favorites.
And each year, Minneota has won this pivotal game and advanced to the state tournament.
BOLD is always the decided favorite because they play Class 2A schools all year. The Warriors have out-scored opponents 581 to 77 or an average of 58 to 8 per game. They’ve thrown two shutouts and won games by scores of 84-13; 54-8; 78-8; 56-0; 49-0; 64-7; 35-7; 63-7 and 68-8. Their closest game was their first game of the year, 30-20 over Paynesville. Paynesville, by-the-way is 7-2 and still alive in the playoffs against Minnewaska Area. None of the individual statistics for BOLD players are overwhelming. But then, the Warriors one-sided victories have not afforded them a lot of playing time.
The team leader is junior quarterback Jordan Sagedahl, who has thrown for 1,337 yards and rushed for 443 more. He has a variety of weapons. Senior Lucas Ryan has caught passes for 693 yards.
Junior Gavin Vosika has rushed for 482 yards and caught passes for 569 yards. Senior John Burman rushed for 482 yards and their other running tool is Tim Peppel.
On defense, the leaders are senior Cade Morse, senior Hayden Tersteeg and senior Dawson Vosika. Ryan leads the team with nine interceptions and junior Anthony Maher leads the team with 3.5 sacks.
They have a good kicker in sophomore Braeden Tersteeg, who has hit 66 of 74 extra point kicks and one field goal. Minneota trailed 14-0 to BOLD in the second quarter last year, scored 20 points in that quarter and went on to win, 35-22 en route to a state championship.
The year before (2016) Wabasso defeated Minneota and then trounced BOLD to get into the state. In 2015, Minneota beat BOLD 24-14 on its way to a state title. And in 2014 Minneota was in Section 3A and defeated Adrian 44-6 to earn a state berth on the way to a state crown.
Minneota now has won 60 of its last 61 games and since losing to Wabasso in 2016, have ripped off 24-straight wins. While this promises to be another great BOLD vs. Minneota battle, it certainly isn’t a game with a clear favorite.
Both teams have good, big strong lines and the game might well be won in the line.
Baseball Bingo coming again
The Minneota Baseball BINGO fundraiser will be held November 18 at the Minneota American Legion. There will be 15 games of Bingo played. Turkeys and gift certificates to local businesses will be awarded as prizes.
There will be adult and child prizes for every game. A $5 meal of a hotdog, chips, bar and pop or water will be available. Meal and refreshments are available at 11 a.m. and the bingo starts at noon.
This fundraiser will help pay expenses on the additions to the baseball field — which are ongoing at this time.
ODDS & ENDS:
•Former Minneota High School and current Mudhen pitcher Henry Pesch will be pitching for the University of Minnesota Crookston.